Monday, May 30, 2011

grilling and chilling

Memorial Day is a time to remember those who have fought for our country and died in our nation's service. For me, it's also a day to remember loved ones, living and deceased. It's a day I like to surround myself with family and friends and celebrate the coming of summer. Every year on this day, I look forward to things like sunshine, camping, warm days at the Oregon Coast, freckly faces, barbecues, and the smell of freshly cut grass.

But this year it's so chilly I look forward to summer even more than usual. My grandpa has to pass out old sweatshirts for us to wear during the outdoor barbecue he hosts for our family. While he grills salmon and corn on the cob, the rest of us toast the day through chattering teeth. The food is delicious, though, and the company even better.

The other half of my long weekend is spent at Government Camp. With my mind on summer, I don't anticipate icy conditions or bring anything suitable for snow. So our group hangs out inside, enjoying the scenery from the comfort of a heated cabin. One day I explore Timberline Lodge and savor a hot chocolate by the fire, thinking, Is it really almost June?!

But June or not, the white powder is majestic, the landscape like a painting.


Friday, May 27, 2011

mazatlan, mexico

Mexico was a dream. The kind you don’t want to wake up from.

To kick things off, we scored an upgrade on our trip down. First class! Not only that, but Tatiana Ali—The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s little cousin—was just a few rows in front of us. For three and a half hours we ordered frothy drinks and reclined our chairs and pretended to be rich and famous.

Then reality set it. We piled into a stuffy cab and drove through what has to be the armpit—and ghetto—of Pacific Mexico. Winding through the graffitied buildings and littered streets crowded with barefooted children selling flowers and knick-knacks made me sweat. But pulling up to the resort was like landing on another planet; it was beautiful, a complete contrast from its outskirts.

We hit the beach immediately and stayed there for five days, taking breaks only for eating and sleeping. I can never get enough of the roaring waves, the warm sand between my toes or the look and feel of the late-afternoon sun, right before it’s swallowed by the ocean and a pink dusk appears. I think it’s in my genes to love the beach.

One day we took a catamaran through the sea, slowly and peacefully. I spotted birds I’d never seen up close and snapped photos with my new camera. We kayaked and snorkeled (although we didn’t see any fish) and ate lunch on a nearly abandoned island. It was our one and only adventure in Mexico, which was just fine with me. This vacation was all about relaxing. And it was gorgeous.

See for yourself.

Monday, May 9, 2011

countdown to mexico

In 39 short hours I’ll be on a plane to Mexico, my nose in a fluffy novel, my mind in the clouds. I’ll be sipping a foamy latte and dreaming about white sand and clear, blue-green ocean. My skin will be freshly tanned—tomorrow I’m stripping down to my undies and paying a professional to hand-paint my body for an oh-so natural look—and my fingers and toes newly manicured. Jeff will be by my side, his skin also tanned, and we’ll be beyond ecstatic to forget about real life for six whole days.


Tonight, though, is all about laundry, packing, finishing my work for the week, and tricking some poor soul into watching Freddie while we’re gone.

Any takers? :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

thank you to moms everywhere.

This year, Jeff and I showed our appreciation by hosting a Mother's Day brunch at our apartment. The menu: steak and scrambled eggs with spinach and cheddar, seared tomatoes, fruit salad, fresh cinnamon rolls, and the sweetest, most refreshing orange juice I've had in a long time.

Friday, May 6, 2011

happy, happy friday.

This weekend I get to babysit my friends' seven-month-old puppy, ogle John Krasinski while eating salty popcorn and watching Something Borrowed with my girlfriends, enjoy brunch at Gravy with more friends, cheer for Jeff's brother at a baseball game, and make a special meal for the world's best mom.

Which is why I'm happier than a bird with a french fry.

Have a great weekend!